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Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !
Change the target language to find translations.
Tips: browse the semantic fields (see From ideas to words) in two languages to learn more.
Broadcasting in the Soviet Union was owned by the state, and was under its tight control and Soviet censorship.
Broadcasting's governing body in the Soviet Union was the "USSR State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting", or USSR Gosteleradio (Государственный комитет по телевидению и радиовещанию СССР, Гостелерадио СССР), which was in charge both of Soviet TV and Soviet radio.
Because of the Soviet Union's size, there were several problems to overcome. The first was geography; the European area of the Soviet Union was typical East European. Then there were the mountains such as the Urals. There were also the taiga and steppes of the east and the north. Another problem was time; the Soviet Union encompassed 11 different time zones, and thus what would be shown at 18:00 in Moscow would be different from 18:00 in Frunze, Kyrgyz SSR (now Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan). The population too was unevenly spread out, the overwhelming majority being west of the Urals. In addition, the Soviet Union also relayed their programming to other Warsaw Pact states.
As a result, Soviet television and Soviet radio required ingenuity to overcome the aforementioned problems as well as to transmit programming to the Communist world.
Although the Soviet Union had domestic shortwave stations, most of the radio stations operated in the AM band. In typical Soviet fashion, neither the sites nor the frequencies of domestic AM or SW stations were ever disclosed, thus leaving shortwave listeners wanting to tune into Soviet radio to memorize the frequencies and remember where the sites were. However, the AM/SW programming was relayed on FM, using the OIRT FM band (66-73 MHz).
The Soviet Union used SECAM D (VHF) and K (UHF) (also known as CIS-SECAM). The Soviet Union also used the OIRT VHF band (the "R" channels ranging from chs. R1 to R12) and the pan-European/African UHF band.
There were three national radio channels. The first was the All-Union First Programme. This channel was one of the most adaptable radio channels in the Soviet radio system. The second channel was called Radio Mayak. Mayak is Russian for "lighthouse", and thus is an all-union musical and literary channel designed to be the "lighthouse" of Soviet music and literature. The Third Programme also was a musical and literary channel, but mostly pop music.
Most people who have listened to shortwave are familiar with Radio Moscow, the main Soviet shortwave radio station. However, that's only part of the picture. Soviet radio also had Radio Station Peace and Progress, officially called the "Voice of Soviet Public Opinion". Most republics also had an external service, relayed by Radio Moscow's transmitters. Radio Moscow also relayed other radio stations from their satellite states, such as Radio Afghanistan.
Generally there were four channels (called "programmes" in the typical European fashion then). The first channel (1st Programme) was the main channel. It was also the most adaptable for the republics to utilize (see "Regional services" below). Other channels were the All Union Programme (the second channel), the Moscow Programme (the third channel aimed mostly at Moscow), and the Fourth Programme (the fourth channel).
Soap operas and TV series of original cast were rare until the last decade; a notable example is Seventeen Moments of Spring which quickly became a cult film. It involved the exploits of Stierlitz, a Soviet superspy in Nazi Germany, who inspired many jokes (see Russian humour). However in the later years quite a few of soap operas were brought in from the West (United States, Brazil, etc.), and a number of detective series were cast locally.
In addition to the national radio and television channels, each SSR and ASSR had its own state radio and television company or state broadcasting committees, although other regions were allowed regional state broadcasting companies/committees. Taking the Chechen-Ingush ASSR as an example, one would see that there was a lot of flexibility in the Soviet radio and television system.
Like other areas of the Soviet Union, the four national television channels, Radio Mayak, the All-Union First and Third Programmes, and (if equipped with appropriate transmitters) Radio Moscow would be broadcast by either a Television and Radio Company of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic or by a State Committee on Radio and Television Broadcasting. However, in the First Programme (TV) and in the All-Union First Programme (radio), the Company/Committee was allowed to broadcast regional programming alongside the official First Programme/All-Union First Programme schedule. Depending on the political status of an administrative division, the Company/Committee would broadcast the regional programming in either Russian or the local language. In the Chechen-Ingush ASSR's case, the regional programmes would be broadcast in Russian, Chechen, or Ingush.
The Company/Committee would also broadcast additional channels for their coverage area only. Such cases were usually a second programme, known by a special name, in the main language of the SSR/ASSR. Other districts had their own local programming, and cities such as Moscow and Leningrad had special programs, broadcasting only in the evening and on FM.
Aside from Canada's ANIK satellite system and the U.S.'s satellite system, the Soviet Union had the largest and most ingenious domestic satellite system in the world. Part of its ingenuity laid in the programming itself. The Soviet Union was a master at time-shifting programmes so that everyone in the Soviet Union could enjoy radio and television programming. This involved several solutions to the Soviet Union's geography and time zone problems:
There were two types of timeshifting in the Soviet Union. The first was used by both the All-Union First Programme and the First Programme (TV). For simplicity, this system is denoted as the "Radio/TV Orbita" system (named after the editions of these 1st programmes when they are time-shifted). All other national television channels (the All-Union, Moscow, and Fourth Programmes), including Radio Mayak and the Third Programme, used the "Double program" composite time-shifting format.
The "double program" system was the other system used for time-shifting programmes. Like the "Radio/TV Orbita" system, identical content would be broadcast on the time-shifted versions, and, in the case of the Third Programme (radio), followed the same type of editions as the All-Union First Programme. However, it was different in that, especially on TV, it was a composite time-shifting system. This means that multiple services could be broadcast on the same edition and thus reduce the cost of broadcasting several different editions of the channels.
Editions of the Third Programme (radio):
Composite editions of the All-Union, Moscow, and Fourth Programmes (TV):
The Soviet domestic satellite system was also known as Orbita - in 1990 there were 90 Orbita satellites, supplying programming to 900 main transmitters and over 4,000 relay stations. The most famous Soviet satellites were the Molniya satellites; other satellite groups were the Gorizont, Ekran, and Stasionar satellites. With the right equipment, people outside the Soviet Union who used TVRO satellite television could receive Soviet television programming.
TASS still exists today, transformed into the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia (ITAR-TASS). It occupies a Joseph Stalin-era building in Moscow, characterised by a bas-relief sculpture above the main entrance. However, much like its counterparts in cinema and the press, it has suffered since the collapse of Communism.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Soviet broadcasting landscape also changed. Instead of one uniform system for radio and television broadcasting, there are now multiple systems, one for each country. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the republics themselves. Below is an incomplete list of the changes to the television system in the republics, in alphabetical order:
Broadcasters: Radio Yerevan (radio), Yerevanskaja studija televidenija (TV)
Broadcasters: Radio Baku (radio), Bakinskaka studija televidenija (TV)
Main broadcaster: Azärbaycan Dövlät Teleradio Verilisläri Sirkäti (State Radio and Television Company of Azerbaijan)
Broadcasters: Radio Minsk (radio), Minskaja studija televidenija (TV)
Main broadcaster: Nacyjanalnaja Dzjarzaúnaja Teleradyjokampanija Respubliki Belarus (State Television and Radio Company of Belarus)
Broadcasters: Eesti Raadio (radio), Eesti Televisioon (TV)
Broadcasters: Radio Tbilisi (radio), Tbiliskaja studija televidenija (TV)
Main broadcaster: Saqartvelos Teleradio Korporacia (Georgian National Broadcasting Corporation)
1990 Broadcasters: Radio Alma-Ata (radio), Alma-Atkinskaja studija televidenija (TV)
1990 Broadcaster: Dom Radio
1990 Broadcasters: Latvijas Radio (radio), Rizhskaja studija televidenija (TV)
1990 Broadcasters: Lietuvos Radijas (gov. radio), Radio M-1 (non-gov. radio), Vilnjusskaja studija televidenija (TV)
Broadcasters: Radio Kishinev (radio), Kishinevskaja studija televidenija (TV)
1990 Broadcaster: State Committee for Broadcasting and Television of the Republic of Tajikistan
2005 Main broadcaster: Tajik Radio
1990 Broadcaster: Radio Ashkabad
1990 Broadcasters: Radio Kiev (radio), Kievskaja studija televidenija (TV)
1990 Broadcasters: Radio Tashkent (radio), Tashkentskaja studija televidenija (TV)